As I write this, we are a few days away from Valentine’s Day, the universal day of love. So naturally, I want to talk about love today. One of my favorite passages in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13, or the “love passage” as I like to call it. I have read these verses too many times to count, but I have always applied it to how other people should show me love, or how I am to show love to other people. Today, let’s apply it to the love we show ourselves. Self-love.
To paraphrase verses one through three, it says that no matter how much I speak in tongues or prophesy, if I don’t have love, including love for myself, then I am nothing. No matter how brilliant I am or how faith-filled I may be, no matter how much I give to the poor, if I have no love, I gain nothing.
Many beautiful mommas I know are pouring all of themselves into their children and other family members, their churches, their communities and their jobs, but are neglecting showing love to themselves. We put it off for some unnamed time in the future, often telling ourselves that the joy that comes from serving other people is enough.
And while loving on others is a beautiful thing, and is what God wants us to do, we should also be loving to ourselves. Jesus says in Mark 12:31 “love your neighbor as you love yourself”, which shows an expectation that we are first to love ourselves.
What does loving ourselves look like? And what are some simple (and inexpensive) ways to show ourselves love? If you have read the book “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, you know that he shares that we all give and experience love differently, based on five categories: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, and Physical Touch. Read on to see how you can love yourself in your unique love language(s).
- Is your love language Words of Affirmation? Then speak affirming words to yourself. Go beyond just thinking it or reading it during your quiet time; take the extra step of saying affirming words from God’s word to yourself. You can also write a list of the things you love about yourself. Or write a love note to yourself.
- If Acts of Service is your love language, a simple treat could be taking your friend or family member up on her offer to babysit for you. Or maybe you could hire a professional maid to help you clean your house. Have someone else do the laundry for you for a change, including picking them up and delivering them back to you. Or hire a professional lawn-care company to get your yard in shape. Any type of concierge service would work, and you can find great deals on Groupon for many of them.
- If Quality Time is your thing, spend some time, doing things you enjoy doing, either alone, or with friends/family. Read the books you’ve had on your list for a long time, even if it’s just 30 minutes a day. Go to a concert. Binge watch your a show you’ve been wanting to watch. Take a cooking class or sign up for a sculpting class. Volunteer at a place of your choice. Go out of town for a day or two, or…stay in a hotel in town and line up some fun activities for yourself.
- If Receiving Gifts is your love language, treat yourself to a gift. No need to wait for someone else to give you one. And no need to wait for Christmas or your birthday either. You don’t have to break the bank to do this. Buy a bouquet of your favorite flowers. Buy yourself dinner in that new restaurant you’ve been eyeing. When was the last time you bought a new outfit just because? Now might be a good time.
- If your love language is Physical Touch, a great treat (that’s free) is to hug your babies (I know you already do this). Or hug your pet. You could also treat yourself to a massage. Or treat yourself to an appointment to get your hair washed by someone else. Or what about a manicure and/or pedicure?
So what is your love language? Whatever it may be, there are plenty of ways to show yourself love, without neglecting the ones you love. If you haven’t taken the test, or you want to take it again, you can find it here. And if you would like the book, you can pick up your copy here (please note that, at no extra cost to you, I get paid a commission from Amazon when you buy the book through my link).
So, which one of the above ideas will you do first (or next) to show yourself more love?